Driver Charged in Crash that Killed 1 Teen, Injured Another

SPRINGDALE -- A teen has died in an early morning car crash.

Police say it happened around 4:00am on Monday. Springdale officers responded to Meadow & Commercial where they found a white 2005 Chevy Trailblazer on its top in a nearby parking lot.

The investigation revealed the Trailblazer was driving west on Meadow, lost control around Commercial and rolled several times.

Initial police reports said there were 5 people inside the SUV when it crashed.

The driver Gustavo Escalante, 20, was wearing his seat belt and was not injured. He faces charges of negligent homicide, 2nd degree battery and driving while intoxicated.

Police said at least two passengers were ejected during the crash. Eliseo Landa-Zamora, 18, was pronounced dead at the scene. The other person ejected from the SUV was transported to Washington Regional Medical Center with life threatening injuries.

Two passengers ran from the accident, according to police, one later returning to Northwest Medical Center with minor injuries. The other was identified later.

A preliminary report from the prosecuting attorney's office shows Escalante's blood alcohol content was recorded at 0.11, over the legal 0.08 limit. He told officers he was "definitely buzzed" and should not have been driving.

According to the report, Escalante's admission of driving while intoxicated when he crashed the car led to the negligent homicide and battery charges. CLICK the link at the top of the page to read the full report from the prosecuting attorney's office.

Police said they will continue to investigate this crash.

Many of our viewers took to social media ta ask: "In a situation like this, could the person who supplied the alcohol to the minor face criminal charges?"

So we took your question to
Lt. Derek Hudson with Springdale police who said, "Absolutely they could. It is called Furnishing Alcohol to a Minor."  Hudson did point out that in cases like this, proving these charges can be very difficult. 

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